07 December 2005

little follow-up war whine

Some law student emailed me while back with some questions, and after it was all said and done she told me she supported the troops. And I know a lot of people share that sentiment and it's all really warm and fuzzy and whatnot, but honestly, I just rather you run out, sign up and catch the early-bird charter to Kuwait and get your ass over here ASAP so one of us can go home. Maybe we can arrange something, you know, by ones and twos and so on, pretty sure we could get all us over-extended types outta here in no time.

We got, by estimates, close to forty-thousand plus Joes involuntarily extended, stop lossed they call it now, cause dropping INVOLUNTARILY extended day after day after day I suppose places too much emphasis on the fact that a whole buncha us got stuck in the shit INVOLUNTARILY... cause, for all you non-incarcerated types, the usual nomenclature for being stuck in the service beyond your time is--used to be--INVOLUNTARY extension. Cept they had to twist the rules all outta whack and shit to keep the machine all lubed and oiled and chugging and belching and churning out the mayhem, and somehow, rather mysteriously it seems to me at least, with all that good ol' troop lovin' shit goin' on back home they couldna find the 40K + dudes and dudettes to get us squared away and outta this mess. Thanks for the love yo.

And I know I know, spare me the retort... "Dude, is what you signed up for." Right. I signed up for THIS. Sadist's circus. Marquis de Sade's Head-Chopping Ball-Blasting Brigade. Lemme assure you, if I had read some short-timer's Internet lament and that fucker would've had the common decency to point out that the Army is more like a three-ring circus butcher-shop motor vehicles prison typa clustertastrophy I mighta thought twice before lending my body to the cause of someone else's mocracy-buildin' wet dreams.

If I ever make it outta this mess, when I make it out, I'll make sure to support the troops likewise. I'll realize my lifelong dream of washing up in a yuppie burb and my kiddies just done wrap up their SATs in high style and Stamfurd or Princetum are in the works and I'll kick their fuckin' asses if I ever even catch 'em looking sideways at anything related to the military. Them having other priorities and shit and their talents being needed elsewhere and whatnot. Of course, we'll all support the military all the time. Course. We'll be havin' yellow ribbon shit on all our stuff, little flaggies everywhere and yonder, and we'll smilingly fork over that good tax shit to support the state's burgeoning quest to keep us all safe from evildoer motherfuckers. If I ever see a legless vet with a board around his neck all 'Help a homeless Iraq veteran' I'll be first to toss some quarters at the dude. Battle bros for life and all. And if I read about a couple-a-thou of the troops being INVOLUNTARILY extended, or stop lossed, or held over, or stuck in the muck, or jacked, or whatever they call it by then, I'll be all supportin' the troops and lamenting their sad tragic fate and misfortune. Maybe slap on an extra couple-a-yellow ribbons. Show support ya know.

As for war, course I'll support it. I'll support all the wars, all the time. Once I'm out of the shit, I'll support every war they ever wanna throw. Hell yeah! Why? Why? Cause nothing looks badder-ass and is more entertaining on television than live mayhem. I fuckin' love televised mayhem. Love it. It's the shit. Splosions and riots and gun battles and mob violence and jets launching from aircraft carriers. I could watch the shit for days. And have. Course... sittin' in the back of the ol' Hummer hauling ass toward a column of smoke couple-a-blocks down and your asshole up in your throat from fear and ready to fuckup any dumb fucker out there skulking around waiting to pour on some follow-up misery... "See anything suspicious, anything at all, do not hesitate. Drop every single last one-a-the-motherfuckers, every single last one!" I holler to clarify the so-called tactical purdicament, more to myself really, cause I think we're all pretty much of one mind on shit like that... and rushing into the shit, I imagine watching it on teevee, remote, disconnected, my ass snuggly embedded in a recliner of sorts--embedded get it?--stead of out here, actually in the shit, with a bigass target painted across the eyes... Better ta just sperience it with a remote control in one hand and a bag of Doritos in the other a few sloppy thousand miles away and not really speriencing it at all, more, enjoying it. Entertainmentwise.

More later.

29 Comments:

Blogger Diane S. said...

I think this "involuntary extension" shit is breach of fuckin' contract (see, one sentence, and the word "fuck" is falling off my fingers onto the keyboard, you're a genius shortster!) I think someone needs to fuckin' SUE. You are being deprived of your liberty without due process. This is a violation of your fucking constitutional rights, man.

Rage against the machine!

And If I could, I'd come to 'Raq for Christmas. Come out there with a key and hand it to the first civilian I saw and say, "Here, here's your country back. We're going home now. Watch out for those dictators, man. Good fuckin' luck."

07 December, 2005 16:03  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

Cept they had to twist the rules all outta whack and shit to keep the machine all lubed and oiled and chugging and belching and churning out the mayhem, and somehow, rather mysteriously it seems to me at least, with all that good ol' troop lovin' shit goin' on back home they couldna find the 40K + dudes and dudettes to get us squared away and outta this mess. Thanks for the love yo."

God damn dude, you get your ass stateside as soon as they'll let you... like I need to say that. But I do need to say this:

You will never buy your own beer in my presence.

Well done, Short. And keep your head down. I'll be here stateside, uh, supporting you. Sorry about my lack of magnetic stickerage-- I mostly ride a motorcycle.

07 December, 2005 21:10  
Blogger One Veteran said...

right on--"I support the troops" has become pretty hollow, and rightly so. Because no one doesn't support the troops. It has no meaning. I support the troops. Let's keep getting them blown up by IEDs-- don't worry, they're getting blown up for democracy.

08 December, 2005 00:19  
Blogger charlie said...

Walk away as soon as you can, AST. It's the answer for most things. Walk away and leave the supporters of the war to sort out the mess. Hand back the poisoned chalice to those who mixed the brew and ask them to take a sip.
Charlie

08 December, 2005 02:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, man. I just want to let you know that no matter what I think about this war, you guys and gals over there are the cat's ass.

Come home soon, in one piece, and in the meantime know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

08 December, 2005 06:26  
Blogger Puma said...

Fucking awesome post. (The word "fuck" falls onto my keyboard so easily these days too, especially regarding this war.) And I hate those goddamned magnets. Come home as safe and as soon as you can.

08 December, 2005 08:08  
Blogger Sara said...

Ohh, stoploss. The word still causes shivers down my spine. I was very nearly stoplossed for 14 months. One of my friends is stoplossed for 16 months. One of my friends died while stoplossed.

But you signed a contract!!!! *eye roll* Y'know how those S-shop shitheads sometimes have this smarmy quote in front of their desks, "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine"? Well, that's how I feel about this whole stoploss business. Poor planning and the little guy gets fucked.

I'm sure you could kick out another 4 posts on stoploss and STILL have some rage left over. And we'll read every one of 'em!

Take care!

08 December, 2005 12:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-Antigone

Sorry, I've never bought those cheap-ass magnets. I do, however, have a file at the Senate that almost has it's own drawer, I've bitched so much about this war, how they've treated the soldiers, and how they've treated the veterns.

Also, sorry: there is NO WAY in hell that I'm joing up in the military, and in fact, I'm actively encouraging my friends not to (not that a single one of those "It won't happen to me" idiots that they all are are listening to me). Dude, seriously: signing on to have "Property of the US government" stamped on your ass is not the brightest idea in the world.

08 December, 2005 15:39  
Blogger Diane S. said...

Antigone -

From one government file to another: Salute!

08 December, 2005 16:12  
Blogger Nathan said...

I support law students.

nathanbutnet.blogspot.com

08 December, 2005 16:13  
Blogger TBone said...

Good post.

I agree with oneveteran'svoice on the "hollow" ring of the i-support-the-troops mantra. I do appreciate the fact that some folks out there are going out of their way to send goodies and letters to Joe though.

And thankfully when you get home, none of the current anti-war crowd is spitting on you and calling you a baby-killer like they did to our fathers when they returned from Vietnam. You're doing your time AST, and whether you see it this way or not, you are an honorable man. That's more than most can say.

Stay up playa.

08 December, 2005 23:51  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

Tbone - I'm not sure where you get off, but the "spitting on the soldiers" thing after Vietnam is primarily a myth borne out of a few isolated incidents.

In reality, most of those who were against the war in Vietnam, except for a few militant radicals, spent their time helping to counsel and provide aid to returning soldiers who were too traumatized to fit easily into the society that awaited them.

Today, I keep hearing the "baby-killer/spitting" mantra repeated by anyone who wants to badmouth the antiwar left, but I have YET to meet a single member of the left who even thinks like that... and I'm a pretty dedicated leftist. Many leftists are soldiers, former soldiers, and almost all of us supported the war in Afghanistan, but do not support the pretensions that led us OUT of A-stan and into Iraq.

I read a bit at your blog, and you seem to have bought into the right-wing rhetoric hook, line, and sinker; which is convenient for you, since you seem to revile everyone who isn't exactly like you.

Read, rather than ignore, the comments of my fellow leftists like Diane, who say they'd gladly exchange their place with AST. Don't be blinded into buying into untruths simply because they conveniently mold to your pre-fabricated worldview.

And for crying out loud, don't perpetuate myths about how American liberals/leftists treated Vietnam vets. Then, as now, most people were against the unjustified intervention in a foreign country, no matter how lofty our claimed goals were, but totally supported the troopers.

They are our fellow Americans. We know it. You're doing us AND them a disservice by pretending we don't, making us into enemies-of-good-Americans in the mind of simpler types, and making your fellow soldiers who might stumble upon this fear that they MIGHT be spit upon when they return.

Shame on you.

13 December, 2005 13:24  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

Oh, in case you think I'm just repeating some liberal BS, which I'm sure is your first thought, here's a Free Republic article on the subject.

Excerpt:

In 1998 sociologist and Vietnam veteran Jerry Lembcke published "The Spitting Image: Myth, Media and the Legacy of Viet Nam." He recounts a study of 495 news stories on returning veterans published from 1965 to 1971. That study shows only a handful (32) of instances were presented as in any way antagonistic to the soldiers. There were no instances of spitting on soldiers; what spitting was reported was done by citizens expressing displeasure with protesters.

Opinion polls of the time show no animosity between soldiers and opponents of the war. Only 3 percent of returning soldiers recounted any unfriendly experiences upon their return.
(emphasis mine)

Ah, how history repeats itself.

13 December, 2005 13:27  
Blogger TBone said...

U-p atheist,

Do you base your "facts" on one article? Did you read the comments below the article? Let me give you a few examples:

- I was spit upon, I had people throw beer bottles at me from their cars, and I heard Baby Killer many times

- yeah right, not only was my brother in law spat upon on his return from Nam, when he finally got home "the Baby Killer", had to pay 3 xs what was on the cab meter before the sob would drive A Bronze Star winner home!

- He can kiss my Veteran ASS!
I spent the night in a California jail for beating the crap out of a "love child" that spit on me while I was waiting for my duffle bag at the airport luggage carosel.
I ignored the chants, but the spit earned him some extensive dental work and my right boot rearranged his rib cage. I still have the scars on my knuckles from his dislodged teeth..

- Who is this guy kidding??? I distinctly remember marching in a 4th of July parade when I was in the Boy Scouts in 19-73 or 1974 and we were the color guard for the local VFW. The Vets marched according to their service with the Viet Nam vets in the rear and they were jeered and booed and had things thrown at them. Most of the time whoever threw something was confronted by someone else in the crowd and the parade was only a couple of blocks long but it DID happen. I remember at first I was bewildered and then extremely angry. My dad was marching with the Korean Vets and he got a good dose of the hate too and he was fuming.

- My brother committed suicide after his return from Nam. Our family believes one reason was the "welcome" he received when he got home. And I saw people flip him off, turn their backs on him, etc. He told me about spitting and I saw the evidence of bar fights resulting from the name calling.

- jun 70 lax airport ..... all the wonderful california liberals.... vvaw.. spat, through eggs, urine in a bag, fecies, called us everything they could think of.... I wore my uniform home through Atlanta, to Fayetteville, NC. I had it cleaned and it hangs in my closet to this say to remind me of them...


Now, I suppose you will conveniently say they bought into a right-wing worldview, etc., etc. because perhaps they don't share your point of view. Where do I get off? I get off at folks like you who sit nestled in your comfortable home, making judgment calls on a world you can barely comprehend. AST has seen the filth and the stink...he can comment with some perspective. My point to him was that he has earned the right to say the things he does because he not only feels that way, but he has also seen it first hand.

You have a right to make whatever statements you want...I'm not denying that...however, try to widen your perspective on some issues before you make a final judgment.

14 December, 2005 23:39  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

From the cited article in question:

"Only 3 percent of returning soldiers recounted any unfriendly experiences upon their return." (emphasis mine)

Three per cent is not zero. But it is also not indicative of a trend or major problem. There was no justification for spitting on soldiers for that war or any, then or now, and the vast, overwhelming majority of us know that, and act appropriately.

That's the problem with anecdotal "evidence." You can use it to "prove" anything, if you pull your data from a small, select crowd (like, say, disgruntled Freepers who think all leftists/liberals are hippies who blame soldiers for the actions of their commanders). Three per cent of the approximately 2,594,000 who served in south Vietnam yields a figure of approximately 77,820 people who should have stories of that sort, so counting the six stories you cited, we should have ... well, almost 78 thousand others out there to find. But it ignores that MOST of the soliders, 97 percent, reported no problems of that kind at all. Several of my uncles served in Vietnam, but fortunately they're in that larger category who came home to find not hostility, but openness-- but also a recognition that they could hardly recognize the socially-changing America to which they returned. Such was the nature of the 60s/70s... I recommend "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman for one veteran's interpreitation of the way he was made to feel.

But the point here is your blanket treatment of all who protest the war and the actions of this administration in our name, upon the world-stage, as if they were the same as those Berkeley radicals is inaccurate, at best, and dangerously enmity-inspiring.

I quote myself this time:
In reality, most of those who were against the war in Vietnam, except for a few militant radicals, spent their time helping to counsel and provide aid to returning soldiers who were too traumatized to fit easily into the society that awaited them. (emphasis new)

I do not pretend that nobody took out their frustration with the actions of the government on the agents of that government who had nothing to do with the real fault. But I also do not stand by while someone uses the actions of non-bathing social radicals who have less in common with me than you do, to paint me in the eyes of the layperson as something other than I am.

Likewise, I stand firm in defense of my fellow southerners against left-wing charicatures of us, as we are mostly non-racist (at heart) nowdays, and we are not just scary, Deliverance-style hillbillies just because we love to hunt, fish, and shoot paper targets.

When I try to point out to your side that your characterization of the motives of leftists and peace activists is outdated and based on inaccurate, radical representations standing in for the group at large, I have my patriotism and ability to speak (for not being shot at?) questioned.

When I try to point out to the other side that their characterization of southerners as uncultured, sexist, uneducated racists is outdated and based on inaccurate, radical representations standing in for the group at large, I have my integrity and racial views (because I am a white southern male) questioned.

The irony of this similarity between the sides is not lost on me.

15 December, 2005 08:33  
Blogger Puma said...

tbone65, the simple fact remains that none of us "earn" the right to speak our minds in this country. It is a right, called the freedom of speech, and that right we are born to, regardless of your feelings on the matter.

15 December, 2005 10:17  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I don't think he's questioning their right to speak, only their ethics for doing so.

He's entitled to think (and say) they are douchebags for saying what they say and doing what they do in the name of free speech. I'm just trying to ensure that we don't paint all leftists with an overly-broad brush, just as we should prevent people from painting all soldiers with the same brush.

The difference between people like AST and the rabid-natonalist type veterans on Free Republic should provide enough evidence of that, people just need to pay more attention so they don't say stupid sh*t like Kerry did. And, hopefully, the difference between thoughtful progressives like ourselves, and the hateful hippies around Berkeley/LA/SF California, will become apparent to people too, if they stop and listen rather than buying into the warhawk propaganda line of "anyone who questions the Iraq invasion is like the spitting, dreadlocked hippies of Vietnam era California."

15 December, 2005 11:16  
Blogger Puma said...

I was responding to his comment that AST can speak on the subject because he has "earned" the right to, while you, according to his broad-brush characterization, "sit nestled in your comfortable home, making judgment calls on a world you can barely comprehend." This is as good an example as you can get, of someone whose fearful agenda prevents them from engaging in open discussion.
He made it quite plain that he believes that if you haven't been shot at in Iraq, your opinion is worthless on the subject.

15 December, 2005 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey!!! Cut the crap!!! Where the hell is AST? Hes not posted in a while.....

16 December, 2005 06:21  
Blogger julie anna said...

Shame on TBone? I don't think so. If anybody in America has earned the right to say something, it is an American soldier. True, not all the leftists/liberals are against the troops (Vietnam era or now), but to many are. I personally know a soldier who was spit on in Oregon not to long ago by a treehugger. And what about the military recruiters in Seattle who had water bottles thrown at them a few months ago by an anti-war mob? The people who do that shit are doing a good job at giving the rest of you a bad name. Shame on them.

16 December, 2005 11:38  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

Julie - You think the shame-finger only points one direction? Both that spitter AND TBone should be ashamed. They're both the same type of idiot-- buying into single-sided arguments without considering that the world isn't nearly as black-and-white as they're painting it, and taking their single-mindedness out on those who don't deserve it instead of focusing it only on those who do.

"If anybody in America has earned the right to say something, it is an American soldier."

You're dead wrong. Being a soldier does NOT earn you the "right" to speak. The 1st amendment earns me that right, and everyone else. EQUALLY. As AST has shown us, what soldiering might do is offer you some up-close perspective on what you're speaking about, when we discuss war; but I know from experience that soldiers mostly get a very limited and heavily-propagandized view of the world, as provided to them by their commanders.

I'm a long-haired, pierced, liberal pot-smoking hippie myself, and I'd beat the crap out of anyone who spit on a soldier just for being a soldier, myself. I've never been out west, so I dunno what the west-coasters are like, but leftists are nothing like that anywhere I have lived. And I've met some pretty radical leftists!

The public automatically backing the military no matter what, simply because they serve the national interest, is among the first signs of an approaching fascism.

I don't want the troops home because I'm against war. Not at all. (I think this war is pointless and unjustified, except to correct a mistake the US made in backing Saddam in the first place, and secure oil we thought we had secured when we put Saddam in place originally.) I want the troops home because we are getting them shot up against their will with this stop-loss crap, we are gutting the VA programs that sustain the mentally and/or physically wounded in this war on our behalf, and we are endangering soldiers in other theatres by fighting a nasty guerilla war, in which we are forced to employ illegal tactics (such as the use of Mk77 incendiary devices and White Phosphorous shells on Fallujah in late '04), that will encourage others who want to resist us to be even more fanatical in their doing so.

We have troops deployed in scores of countries around the world. Many of them are my personal friends. I care about all of them... not just lame gung-ho "rah-rah-rah'ing" our boys in the Oil Crusade, and I'm going to fight against those who use my beloved troopers as mercenaries. I'm also going to fight against those who attack soldiers for doing what they are ordered to do, instead of attacking those giving the orders.

I wanna buy AST a beer or ten, thank him for fighting on my behalf, and apologize to him for us asking him to stay six seconds longer than he wanted to in the Raq.

16 December, 2005 12:58  
Blogger TBone said...

atheist,

You said: Both that spitter AND TBone should be ashamed. They're both the same type of idiot-- buying into single-sided arguments without considering that the world isn't nearly as black-and-white as they're painting it, and taking their single-mindedness out on those who don't deserve it instead of focusing it only on those who do.

I was starting to like your style for a minute when I heard you were a fellow Southerner...then you let out with this "idiot" thing, and...

I'm very convinced the world isn't black and white. That's why I was asking AST to talk in positive terms once in a while. I also see folks like you and sarah barking and biting like partisan, single-minded automatons on every comment you make; which leads me to believe you guys aren't as objective as you'd like to believe.

I understand the Constitution. You are entitled to free speech, just like every citizen is. My point was that those who have been in the war have a more informed position with which to make their comments. AST has presumably been in "the shit" and continues to put his life on the line for ideals he doesn't necessarily agree with...but he is doing it. He took the time to sign the contract, and has walked the walk that brought him to his current realization. He has the discipline to gear up and do the mission everyday, regardless of the gnawing ache it produces; not only because his chain of command compells him to do it, but because he has the intestinal fortitude to carry on. That is what is called bonifides or credentials. Some have it and some don't. A convenience store clerk can critique brain surgery if he desires, but it doens't make him qualified to do so.

I'm not brainwashed by my chain of command, I assure you that. I say "yes sir" and "no sir" because my southerner father taught me to do that. I have been doing this military shit for too long to be someone elses tool. I know how to "play the game" instead of banging my head against a brick wall.

I sometimes see the injustice and the silliness. I try to correct those errors when they are within my sphere of influence. My current chain of command thinks I'm a pain in the ass because I am constantly critiquing them on their decisions. I see that as my job.

I have been in charge of troops for many years now. I have seen the young ones come in, and I have seen them go. I've lost friends in this war, and have friends who were combat wounded. I think war sucks in general, and many specific parts of this war could have been done differently. Troops, like AST, look at things differently because they aren't empowered in the same way their superiors (or the nasty lifers like me) are. If AST had a different chain of command, perhaps his experience would have been different. Many free-thinking, junior soldiers approach the job from a different point of view. Are they "idiots"? There is some silly saying about monkeys climbing ladders...the ones on the higher rungs look down and see smiling monkey faces...the ones on the lower rungs look up and see alot of monkey assholes above them. I'm right in the middle and see 'em both. I know it's not black and white. I consciously choose to remain positive about things. That tactic makes necessary change possible. Negativity is a disease on the morale of others trying to stay alive and motivated. There are positive ways to express criticism. Good leaders try to help their guys deal with stress and depression. Negative-vibe-merchants hurt more than they help. Gulliver, we'll neeeever make it. Hehe. As individuals we must seek to change what we are able to change. That's why when I read the raging negativity you guys throw out, it makes me kinda funny feeling inside.

Politically, I don't buy into most of the rhetoric I hear on either side. Guys like Dean, Kennedy, and Kerry present the same cartoon-like appearance as some of their counterparts on the right do. I think the goal is to stop aligning ourselves with a party and start aligning ourselves with realistic goals. Ending the war is important. Just pulling out and leaving is not an option right now. There are some serious geo-political consequences to take into consideration before we can come to a decision on that one.

Same thing applies with all this talk about oil, etc. Oil is a real consideration for the USA. I'm convinced oil was a strategic variable in many actions our nation has taken over the years, and rightfully so. Alternative fuels are not a viable option for us now. We rely on petroleum products for many, many things that keep our lives going. Hundreds of thousands of jobs rely on the petroleum industry and its offshoots. Securing the flow of oil not only affects America, but every country in the world. If a country like Saudi Arabia, or Iraq, is taken over by a taliban style government, what would happen to the world economy as a result? Those considerations are in play here. As unsavory as it is to the middle-class, left-thinking idealist it is still a factor policy makers must contend with.

Anyway. Sorry so wordy. I gotta go sharpen my fangs now and get my daily dose of brainwashing. Thanks for listening.

TBone

17 December, 2005 04:57  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I also see folks like you and sarah barking and biting like partisan, single-minded automatons on every comment you make; which leads me to believe you guys aren't as objective as you'd like to believe.

Single-minded automatons? Who exactly are we copying? While many small bits of your diatribes sound like White House official copy, we sound like... whom? Because I'd really like to know where I'm getting my single-mindedness. I felt I was reading as many diverse sources of information, looking into the background of issues, and coming to my own conclusions which seem to be at odds with the conventional orthodoxy. I suppose that makes me single-minded... some...how.

That is what is called bonifides or credentials. Some have it and some don't. A convenience store clerk can critique brain surgery if he desires, but it doens't make him qualified to do so.

And a professional soldier can critique political science if he likes, but it doesn't make him qualified to do so. Knowing how to best "close with and destroy the enemy by fire, maneuver, and shock effect" is very useful to a tank commander, but doesn't help him much with any level of geopolitics. Now, things one can learn in the process of doing one's job can help him see in a way he never did before, but generally professional soldiers are far too busy doing exactly that which those of us "sitting in our comfortable homes" have lots of time to do: read up on the background and history of the conflicts involved, and the political decisions on the global scale which have gotten us to this point.

I sometimes see the injustice and the silliness. I try to correct those errors when they are within my sphere of influence. My current chain of command thinks I'm a pain in the ass because I am constantly critiquing them on their decisions. I see that as my job.

First of all yes it is your job, and thanks for doing it. Really. And, as I believe I have repeatedly pointed out before, I do not place the blame on the professional soldier, ever, because I know almost all of them have first-rate intentions. In fact, I believe it is largely done to fulfill the soldiers' desire to do good, so we engage in many of the "side" activities of infrastructure-rebuilding, to try to rebuild the economic infrastructure of the country so we can set up a western-style economy working in our favor, ASAP. As we're so often seeing in letters home, the primary explanation offered to families back home is, "Look how much good we are doing here, honey!" Sure, the buildings look like rubble, but that's just from going after those guys who keep attacking our oil pipelines and secure roadways for KBR contract crews.

As individuals we must seek to change what we are able to change. That's why when I read the raging negativity you guys throw out, it makes me kinda funny feeling inside.

We're not allowed to be negative about noticing that our country, partially at the behest of its largest and most profitable transnational corporations, is draining our treasury, selling our debt to foreign nations, and getting our soldiers shot and blown up, all to secure its junkie-like addiction to Texas Tea, rather than putting an equivalent amount of money/time into research to help us deal without it? You're going to say this to the leftists and hippies who make most of the budding technologies that will help us cope with future energy demands? Were you kidding?

I think the goal is to stop aligning ourselves with a party and start aligning ourselves with realistic goals. Ending the war is important. Just pulling out and leaving is not an option right now. There are some serious geo-political consequences to take into consideration before we can come to a decision on that one.

I agree with this. It's why I have never called myself a Democrat, and do not participate in Democratic primaries (a shame, in my opinion, since I felt there were quite a few better candidates than Kerry). But I agree, both parties are sold out to corporate interests who do NOT place the future of America or her economy on their own "best interest" lists, unless it can make them a profit. It makes my fellow citizens tend to fall by the wayside, and a lot of my blogging work catalogues how they use the religious right and party-line rhetoric of the type I mentioned above to accomplish this. I take major issue with this, whichever side it comes from. Sadly, I currently see it coming far more often from the political right.

As leftists have generally been saying all along, getting into the war in the first place was the problem. We're screwed... and we're going to have to bleed to get ourselves unscrewed, one way or another. I agree we can't just pull out now, but I don't think the solution I do see will be palatable to those who run things right now-- we need to make major economic concessions to the rest of the world so it becomes in their own self-interests to help us out of this. Solid European, Chinese, and Russian help in this, giving them greater access to that which we wish to control for ourselves alone now, could help turn the tide. A real united national effort... and yes, we'll have to really sacrifice, because they're all really mad at us and it'll be hard to sell helping us out to their people without big concessions; but our country has been ignoring international wishes for so long that even this is now probably just a pipe-dream.

We're a big, strong, and well-armed heroin addict, taking what we think is our with little consideration for those with less capacity to take than we posess. As you point out, most of our system of living depends heavily on oil-- including our food supply. We need to fight, as a national goal no less important than Kennedy's declaration that we would reach the moon in a decade, to change our economic, employment, and supply setup so that we do not depend upon oil the way we do. Our survival depends on it... I think that our current actions to depose the evil dictator we helped impose upon the people of Iraq in the first place aren't going to restore the cheap oil supply we thought we had guaranteed by installing Saddam. But we said to everyone we had to go get rid of the "rape room guy", the evil poison-gas dictator. And I remember just ten years ago all my conservative friends were screaming about how the USA was "not the world police!" Heh. At least we're still ignoring Darfur.

So if I get a bit negative about seeing my counry stretched dangerously thin economically, ignoring world court legal decisions, while slurring our good name forever on the world stage, despite the best efforts and intentions of the soliders we get blown up in the process of enforcing our will on the world... I guess I just can't help it. I know most of our guys over there have the best intentions and hopes, and I always remind people of this-- what spheres are influenced by those good hearts, will be okay. But not all our actions are performed by such benevolent types, and every day new issues crop up that make me question our overall motivations and come even more-strongly to the conclusion that our actions are in the wrong, and for entirely-selfish cause. Perhaps that is the nature of all nations, but I had hoped my beloved United States was better than that. If I am "negative" it is because my heart is broken.

On another note, I would like to apologize for calling you an idiot. I meant to say I found both styles of "talking points" speech, both left and right, to be irritating, and generally frown upon those who use them as semi-truisms. Nonetheless, I have no excuse, and hope you can forgive me for being unkind to you without fair call for it. I'm sorry.

18 December, 2005 13:09  
Blogger TBone said...

atheist,

Thanks for the apology. You didn't have to do it, but the fact that you did makes me feel better.

I will also apologize to anyone in here who reads my trash-talk from time to time. I also get emotional about the fate of our nation, but mostly care about folks talking bad about the military. We are overwhelmingly good people, doing good things for others. That's because the military is a microcosm of American society. We are your next-door neighbor, and your relatives. We aren't nazis, and resent people framing us that way.

I agree with many of the points in your comments. The end goal is sound, but the path towards that goal is complex. World opinion is of secondary importance to the strength and sovereignty of our nation. You didn't suggest this, but I am saying that this isn't a popularity contest...plus I don't think the world hates us as much as the press would have you believe. I go to Germany quite often and speak to German folks I know in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Munich. They are much less critical of our nation than the press lets on. Go check out David's Medienkritik and see the press reports...then look at who is now the Chancellor. My point is things are not a clear cut as CNN would have us believe.

Note to all of you activists-at-heart: you'll get more traction from your arguments with the Right if you tone down the rhetoric. You have valid points, many driven by an intense love for our Nation; however they will fall on deaf ears if you try to stick in down someone's throat. You get more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar.

Cheers,
TBone

19 December, 2005 00:32  
Blogger Puma said...

Un-A Atheist,
Tbone likes to go around to people's blogs, get his panties in a twist, and complain they aren't saying things he likes. Apparently he hasn't been out in the free world for awhile, and seems to have forgotten what it's like :)

21 December, 2005 07:25  
Blogger Mike said...

AST

by the time you viewthis hopefullyyou will be back honme on friendly soil.
I happened to come across your post while searching the net for possivble leads into the treatman of the soilders returning from Vietman. And man have i gotten an earful from these bozos. Now I'm now more confused than ever.
My son is doing a project on events that happened in the 60's. He has picked a couple of dozies. The assination of JFK and the Vietman war. He is only 13 and i;m sure he will come away from this with more questions than answer because no one seems to be able to come dto any kind of agreement. So no one is sure as to who to believe,eg:athiest or tbone. I've already warned him about the conspiracy charges in the assination. told him not to delve to far because there are so many sites out there. Just tick to the facts of who, what, when, and how and not to worry about the why.

I am a former military man that was lucky enough

16 January, 2006 17:01  
Blogger Mike said...

'ST,
You certainly sound like a shortimer. Just hope you come back in one piece. If all those people say they support the troops, how come there isn;t an outcry about the Bush admin. closing down V.A. hospitals. There is a V.A. hospital where I grew up in Boston, I sold newspapers there as a kid. It has 13 floors to it and is now used as an outpatient clinic. It is completely shutdown at night. If people want to support the troops they have to write their congressman and insist the the present Administration has alloted enough funds to take care of every last troop that comes home from any foriegn service.
I'll admit that I was duped into supporting this war, all the rhetoric form the Bush Whitehouse about what a threat Saddam was.
But it did not take long to see it was all about the oil. T se nitwits in the whitehouse thought that they could just watlz right in and take over. Greed can be so blinding.
I could say I support the troops but then someone like yourself could question me as to how, and I ouldn'tbe able to answer. So please, no stickers for me. I'll stick to my veterns plate on my truck. {The extra money I pay in registration fees helps support the Soilders and Sailors hospital.
My father was rotated out of the service there after being wounded
at Iwo Jima.)
It seemed that Atheist and tbone have lost the point of your blog.

I have a brother-in-law that served in Vietnam. My son, for a school project, asked him the most signifcant events of the sixies that he remembered. He mentioned of how when he returned from "Nam" and flew from Seattle to Boston in his uniform, no one spit on him or yelled at him. He was ignored more than anything. He couldn't understand it. I don't know what he was expecting. He had more idealic expectations I quess. When my son asked how he felt about going to Vietnam, he was proud to serve, much as I'm sure you did.
He went a little further though, saying that he supported his country, right or wrong.
When I see him again, I'll have to remind him that the Germans felt the same way about their country in the late 30's and early 40's. As for my own children, even though I regale them with stories of my own expliots in the military{peacetime, of course}I encourge them to seek higher education. It is a different world, and by all means, QUESTION AUTHORITY..........
as long as it's not mine.

16 January, 2006 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember how tight my asshole got when they stoplossed us until 2025 right after 9-11. and then when they tried to stop loss me again...i re-uped for a year and was allowed to go awol for a month! dat showed em.

16 January, 2006 20:07  
Blogger american short-timer said...

Mike,

Thank you for taking time out to share your thoughts and for having us on your mind. Much like you're brother-in-law, I get the overwhelming feeling most people just don't really give two shits and when all is said and done, honestly, you think, yeah, why should they care? I think it cuts to the bone on the national security 'emergency' issue. Any emergency that can be trumped by pop media entertainment on any given night doesn't deserve the street credit it's barking up. This is one big ponzy scheme with a few left holding the bag. Man, this story is as old as humanity and from the looks of it it's never changing. I just thank you people, all of you people, whether for, or against, or conflicted, for taking the time to care. To care enough to take the time to share your thoughts, and concerns, and hopes, and frustrations. Thanks for reading and hope your son never, never has to face the option of going through this. Peace.

24 January, 2006 15:21  

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